Safe Bulkers, Inc. (NYSE: SB), announced that it has agreed to terminate the existing charter of the Kamsarmax-class vessel Pedhoulas Merchant. The charter was contractually due to expire in November 2010. Following this agreement, the vessel is expected to be redelivered between February and March 2010. In exchange for the early redelivery of the vessel, the charterer has agreed to pay the company cash compensation between $5.1m and $6.5m, depending on the vessel's actual redelivery date. Following redelivery the vessel will be available for employment.
Polys Hajioannou, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, said: "During 2009, we have entered into similar early termination agreements with proper compensation, which strengthen our cash position. Traditionally we seek to maintain a high charter coverage ratio, while employing certain of our vessels in the spot market to take advantage of the higher rates until meaningful period time charters can be contracted."